Sigma Six Firefly

Back when I first reviewed Snake Eyes in September of last year, my glowing review was a tad controversial. I got plenty of emails from long time Joe heads that simply hated the idea that Hasbro would a) change the scale, b) go with an anime style and c) rape their childhood.

It looks like the line is catching on though, with the figures regularly moving off the pegs and avoiding sale bins pretty consistently. Kids are digging them, and in the last 9 months, plenty of collectors have come around as well.  At least those collectors who have learned how to let the past go, or were never so enamored with the 3 3/4" line as to be blinded to everything else.

I picked up the new Firefly figure last week, one of the 'soldier' (i.e. cheaper) figures in the latest release. I suspect that hardliners are going to get their nostalgia bent again with this character, since this is not the Firefly they'll remember from their already deflowered youth. That Firefly was always a bad guy, Snake Eyes mortal enemy. This one SIGMA! He's on the team! What?!?!

Yep, it's true, but they've hinted that this is all a set up, an origins story if you will, with Firefly stabbing his teammates in the back, setting up the longer term scenario. Personally, I think that's a pretty nifty idea, giving the kids of today a pretty cool basis for an old villain.

You can find Firefly at the usual haunts, especially Target and Toys R Us. Expect to pay the soldier price of around ten bucks.

Packaging -  ***1/2
Unlike the more expensive versions, the soldier figures don't have the uber-cool package design. However, it gets an extra half star for two reasons - good character text and photos of the other figures on the back, and NO twisty ties to be found.

Sculpting - ***1/2
The head on Firefly has that same cartoon style of course, right from the show. You wouldn't expect it any different, and they capture the look and style nicely.

But it's the expression that really shines. He's a smart ass - there's no doubt about that. But even more than that, there's something slightly evil in his look, with the arched eyebrows, cocky smirk, and horn-like hair. He even has a soul patch - he must be the Devil! The expression is one of the most fitting I've seen on any character in quite awhile, and has a ton of personality.

The body looks like most of the other Sigma Six bodies, and there's really no surprises. Hasbro has made minor adjustments to the sculpted armor, including some pretty nifty boots and slightly different shoulder pads, but in general he looks like the other Sigma characters. That's to be expected though, as they're a team, and this is the team uniform.

There are many good things about this general body sculpt: it does not get in the way of the articulation, the character stands great on his own, and he holds his accessories quite easily. If all mass market toys started out with those three things in mind with every action figure design, I'd give out a whole lot more high scoring reviews.

Paint - ***
The one area that these figures tend to show their 'mass marketyness' is in the paint work. It's not bad by any means, but it is fairly basic and clearly done in a cost effective manner.

The face and head work on Firefly is solid, with clean lines and even colors. The body sports various colors to make it stand out a little more from the pack, and the use of the hunter orange makes a lot of sense here. Generally, bright colors like orange are not good hero colors, but since Firefly has gained a more fire themed background in the new cartoon, the orange makes complete sense. The black and gold compliment it nicely, and Hasbro has all the applications consistent and smooth.

You're not going to see a lot of small detail work on a figure like this, and there isn't a lot of realism built into the paint application. But this is a mass market line based on a cartoon, and the style and quality match up pretty well with the expectation.

Articulation - ***1/2
While these figures are super-hyper-uber-insanely articulated, they are almost perfectly play articulated.

Firefly has a ball jointed neck, with a great range of movement. As this joint to the smarmy expression, and you can get a ton of personality out of the figure.

He also has ball jointed shoulders and hips, but both of these are the type where movement is only possible at the torso, not on the limb side of the ball.

There's pin elbows and pin knees that also rotate at the top side of the joint, pin ankles, cut waist, and chest joint. The ankles and wrists also turn, giving them much more potential than a basic pin joint.

I was able to get Firefly into a ton of great poses, and the joints are very tight and sturdy. Unlike joints on some other mass market toys, these will hold up to hours of play, much like the Joes of my (and your) youth.

Accessories - ***1/2
The soldier figures don't come with quite as many accessories, but there's still enough here to get a decent score.

Firefly's personal theme has altered slightly to actually include, surprise surprise, fire. He comes with a nifty mask that will remind you of something a wielder would wear, if that wielder wanted to look badass while wielding. It has a very tight elastic strap to hold it in place, but it's a bit tricky getting it into the perfect position over his face.

He has one gun, and two 'fire sticks'. Similar in some ways to light sabers, these fire sticks spout fire from one end. The fire is added (or removed) with the addition of solid plastic flames in red and green. These flames can be removed and placed on the end of the gun as well.

That's one of the nice things about all the accessories in the Sigma Six line - their versatility. The gun and sticks can attach to the various holes in his armor or belt, they can attach to each other in various ways, and there's a ton of flexibility in their use.

The clip on the gun is also removable, and while it's a bit oversized and cartoony, that's really in step with the overall style of the show.

Firefly's dog tags are removable, as is the elastic webbing around his chest. You can also remove the knee and elbow pads pretty easily, although they don't fall off or flop around during play. They are a nice addition to the basic figure, and a great way to set him apart from the rest of the team.

His belt is also removable, with a tight clasp. This one might be a little tougher for the kids to manage on their own, especially when they want to put it back on. There are a variety of holes in the belt as well, designed to hold gear.

Finally, he has a spin blade thingamajig, which is a weird little spinning, whirling death machine. Or some form of weird lawn mower. You crank it up on the bottom, press the button on top, and it spins around. It does manage to knock down figures, but it's more work then it's worth.

Fun Factor - ***1/2
Kid's will love these if they love the cartoon. They are great fun, with excellent articulation and accessories, and plenty of play value.

Value - **1/2
While toys like Marvel Legends are a couple bucks cheaper, they aren't nearly as large. There's a lot more bulk here that's hard to explain without a photo, so that's why I included one with a couple current Toybiz toys. They don't have the level of articulation, but they have superior accessories, and greater size, making the price point pretty similar in value.

Things to watch out for - 
Not a thing - this is a very sturdy toy constructed of good quality materials. It can take a lickin' and keep on tickin'.

Overall -  ***1/2
Hasbro was willing to take a huge risk with the Sigma Six line, thinking well outside the norm. I applaud them on taking the risk on the new style and larger scale, and they also succeeded in executing on the design. You can have the greatest idea in the world, but if you can't execute, you'll fail. Thankfully they managed to see this one through from start to finish.

This is a line clearly geared toward kids, but 30 years from now it's a line that those same kids will have plenty of nostalgia for. And unlike some other very kid-centric lines, like Power Rangers, this is also a line that can appeal to collectors today, if they're willing to abandon the ghosts of the past.

Packaging - ***1/2
Sculpt - ***1/2
Paint - ***
Articulation - ***1/2
Accessories - ***1/2
Fun Factor - ****
Value - **1/2
Overall -  ***1/2

Where to Buy -
Your best bet is major retailers like Target, Toys R Us, or Kaybee Toys.

Related Links:
I reviewed Snake Eyes and had a guest review of Storm Shadow.

Figure from the collection of Michael Crawford.

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